Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Two nights ago I felt some significant movement in my lower belly. Lo and behold, when I placed my hand over the area I immediately felt a strong bump from the inside. A few seconds later there was another and then another. By the time Jim got to me he/she had stopped moving.

One of these days he'll get to feel our baby, too. This is exciting stuff in our household right now.

Oh, and we are halfway through our pregnancy right now!!! 20 weeks today :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fetal Anatomy: 19 Weeks

Excited, timid, and a bit nervous I made my way to our twenty week ultrasound yesterday (even though we turn 20 weeks on Tuesday). The technician was running late with his appointments, so I quieted my heart and patiently waited for my name to be called. Thirty minutes later he called my name from far down the hall and I allowed my feet to follow his voice.

A friend warned me earlier in the day that this gentleman may not show me everything that I want to see, so I need to make sure to ask questions and let him know that I am interested in seeing as much as I can. She also strongly suggested asking him for lots of pictures to make sure that I get a few. Armed with this, I may have come on a little strong and over-exuberant.

I cheerily asked about every little thing he was looking at, eagerly wanting to know which part of the body it was and if everything was looking alright. "Is that the brain?" "Oh my gosh, look at the spine! How amazing is that?" "Wow, that must be the heart pumping! Is it looking okay?" "Awh, the hand. Can we see how many fingers and toes are there?""Look at his/her sweet face!"

Let's just say that I may have been a bit over-zealous. The technician took the probe/wand (?) off of my stomach and basically gave me the no-nonsense spiel of how he knows I am excited but he is looking for what can go wrong and he needs to concentrate and triple check everything. He was more worried about the organs than the number of fingers. He went on to say that my midwife would tell me if everything looked okay in my appointment next week. I apologized and explained that I, too, was very interested in the organs and that I was just excited to see all that I could see.

He proceeded to prod and shove my belly and the baby, while telling me what we were looking at, only occasionally without prompting. I enthusiastically continued to be just in love with our baby and his/her movements, soaking in as much as I could and still asking for confirmation about what we were looking at. After a few minutes passed he apologized for being grumpy or quick with me as he was just in so much pain from a root canal he had done a few days ago!!! Well there you go, folks :)

Nothing could possibly squash my excitement about looking at our sweet baby. I really could not get over how amazing the spine looked! It was incredible. Oh, and the fact that you can see the four chambers of a baby's heart within their mother's womb just astounds me. A few times he commented that our baby was active and moving a lot and my mind went to the half a brownie I ate before I arrived. Hmm.

At the end of the appointment he showed me 4D imaging of the baby, which was mesmerizing, and he printed off five pictures of our little one. THEN, he ejected a CD out of the computer, which I really wasn't expecting and gave it to me.

Within the next twenty minutes I was in contact with both of Baby B's grandfathers. I talked to my dad, John, on the way home and described the ultrasound and then arrived home to John, Jim's dad, who was passing through for a brief visit. I know a smile stretched from ear to ear as I told each of them the news, getting to show John B. the pictures and then asking if he'd like to see what's on the CD. We were met with nineteen minutes of video footage, documenting everything the technician had seen during my visit!! Woohoo!

Quickly we put it on pause to watch with Jim when he arrived home. We were all engaged, but slightly distracted by visiting together, conversation, a visitor stopping in, and my telling of the experience, but we rolled the footage through it all.

Tonight Jim and I plan to snuggle up and watch our baby together, uninterrupted, and I cannot wait! I hope he doesn't look too closely for the gender of our baby. The hazard of being married to a medical student when both of us want to be surprised about the gender at birth...

The baby's movements and the pictures and ultrasound imaging are making everything that much more real. What an exciting time! How are we already almost halfway through pregnancy? Breathe, Käthe. Be still. Enjoy each of these minutes... they're already flying by.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Renewed Appreciation

A few months ago my dad's cousin wrote and asked if she and her husband could come visit as they traveled across the country in an RV. Her only request was to hike in our mountains and to meet Jim. Easy peasy!

As they stepped out of the car at our new abode, both of them could not stop raving about the beautiful view, the colors, the weather, and oh, you know, that beautiful view. The view really is extraordinary. Three of the four sides of the house offer gorgeous landscape vistas of the mountains, with hardly any houses or barns within eyesight. There are sheep on a hill side far away, cows low in the valley, and horses right in our front yard.
This doesn't do it justice. Here's just one picture of
the many needed for a panoramic view.
When I first started working at the farm, I marveled at the view every minute I could. I still find myself following the clouds as they travel across the sky and watch their shadows dance across the mountains across the valley from the house. Rain and snow storms are my favorite. But I do think that I have started taking it for granted, just ever so slightly.

With Becky and Mahlon's enthusiasm, I again felt a renewed appreciation for just how fortunate and spoiled we really are to see this view every single day. We've only been sleeping and living here for a week, but I hope I never ignore the view to rush out in the morning. I cannot wait to cuddle our baby and drink tea or coffee every morning, while gazing out our front windows.

The view is really never the same twice.

To fulfill Becky's requests, we decided that The Cascades was the best place to take them for their one hike in "our" mountains. The trail meanders its way along the stream, past small swimming holes and little waterfalls, and up to a magnificent waterfall. It's beautiful every season of the year. From the leaves changing, to the frozen falls, to the budding flowers, to the natural airconditioning of mist off the stream that combats the sweltering summer heat, it is the place to go.

Well, I thought that the trail would be enough, but Becky marveled at the farms along the way, the beautiful yellow of the homes, and the colors of the Eastern Red Buds. She soaked it all in and prompted me to look with new eyes on our beautiful surroundings.

Once on the trail, Becky kept remarking, "This is my kind of wonderful." A beautiful trail, awesome weather, and a pack of three dogs moving with us up to the falls... she was right; it was wonderful.

Afterward we took them to one of our favorite burger & beer joints in town, The Rivermill, and then finished off the evening with carrot cake in our unpacked apartment. It was a great day.

Thanks for renewing my love for our new place and our area, Becky & Mahlon!

Käthe, Jim, Baby B, & Leif

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Where've I been?

Packing, driving, moving and unpacking. Oh, and cleaning. A lot.

At an amazing and life-changing conference for one week. Having great conversations.

Charlotte, North Carolina for a glorious IKEA run! Love that place.

Mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering of the many injured at the Boston Marathon Bombing. Remembering the horror of the VT Massacre as its anniversary was the day after the bombing.

Moving, packing, driving, cleaning. Oh, and unpacking. A lot.

Visiting with family for a nice evening. Thanks for stopping by Carla, Sam, Alex, and Logan!

And eating, sleeping, and reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth! Thanks for the recommendation, Julie, Joi, & Laura!

Babe Update: We're 18 weeks pregnant and Baby B is growing, growing, growing! People are actually telling me I look pregnant now, while insisted I did at eight weeks. Ha! Last week I felt as though a rolling pin was turning inside of me and realized that it must be our sweet babe! How exciting to share this moment with the 5.5 inch baby living inside of me. Feeling this sensations makes the pregnancy that much more real; there's really a person living and growing within me! When I tell Jim that the baby's moving, he comes and places his hand on my stomach to feel. So far he hasn't felt him/her, but one of these days or weeks he will!

Living at the farm has been wonderful so far. We wake up to a beautiful view that changes each day, we gaze at the horses and humorously watch Leif navigate these new relationships. The apartment has two bedrooms, which is a really nice perk! One serves as our bedroom while the other is the nursury/craft room. We do have an extra bed for guests, so feel free to stop by sometime :)